Finance Minister seeks inputs on social sector’s challenges

GRAAM founder gives his suggestions ahead of the presentation of Union Budget 2021-22

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is preparing for the budget 2021-22. This year, inputs are being sought from a cross-section of the society. In this regard, R. Balasubramaniam, Founder and Chairman, GRAAM, Mysuru was recently invited by the Ministry seeking inputs on the challenges facing the social sector and NGOs.

Mr. Balasubramaniam, in his discussion with the Finance Minister, strongly advocated stimulation of rural economies, speaking widely for the social and civil society sector in general.

Prominently featured in the discussion was the recent amendment to the Companies Act 2013, and in particular the Corporate Social Responsibility Policy Amendment Rules 2020. He gave inputs on regulatory effectiveness and taxation related to the social sector, including increasing the cap on admin expenditure under FCRA or considering a revision of the definition of admin expenditure, a release from GRAAM said here on Thursday.

Among other suggestions, he proposed a revisit to the Societies Registration Act of 1860 for making it more relevant, updated and facilitating the contemporary NGO ecosystem.

Mr. Balasubramaniam’s discussion also followed up on last year’s announcement of setting up a Social Stock Exchange in India, with a clear transition pathway for the existing NGOs and civil society organisations to evolve into social enterprises, the release added.

He also made suggestions on improving the process of disclosures, performance incentives and social impact/results, including an accredited way of measuring social impact.

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